Command-Line Tools

The Lasso platform comes with various command-line tools to assist you. Lasso uses some of these tools to create and start the instances of Lasso that run on the web server. This chapter will contain an overview of those tools and describe how you can run them yourself.

lassoserver

The lassoserver executable is installed at /usr/sbin/lassoserver on Linux operating systems, at /usr/local/lasso/lassoserver on OS X, and at C:\Program Files\LassoSoft\Lasso Instance Manager\home\LassoExecutables\lassoserver on Windows. This program creates a FastCGI server that interfaces with web servers to process Lasso files in response to web requests. Each instance of Lasso has its own lassoserver process running a FastCGI server. Additionally, the lassoserver executable can start up an HTTP server instead of a FastCGI server. As an HTTP server, it can serve both static files and Lasso files. This is useful for local development, though you should run a production web server (such as Apache) on any production servers.

The following is the list of options for running lassoserver:

-p <tcp_listen_port>

Set the port that either the FastCGI or HTTP server binds on. This option is ignored if you choose to create a FastCGI socket.

Default is 8999.

-addr <tcp_bind_address>

Set the IP address to bind to when running as either a FastCGI or HTTP server. This option is ignored if you choose to create a FastCGI socket.

Default is 0.0.0.0, which will bind to all IPs associated with your machine.

-fproxy <fcgi_proxy_socket>

Specify the path to create a socket for FastCGI proxy requests to be sent to. This path will be relative to LASSO9_HOME unless you start the path with two slashes.

Default is to not create this socket.

-flisten <fcgi_listen_socket>

Specify the path to create a socket for FastCGI requests to be sent to. This path is always relative to LASSO9_HOME.

Default is to not create this socket.

-user <user>

Specifies the OS user to run lassoserver as. In order for this to be effective, you must be running lassoserver with root privileges.

Default is to run as the user invoking lassoserver.

-group <group>

Specify the OS group to run lassoserver as. In order for this to be effective, you must be running lassoserver with root privileges.

Default is to run as the primary group of the user invoking lassoserver.

-httproot <path>

This option tells lassoserver to start an HTTP server instead of a FastCGI server and to use the path specified as the web root. This option will be ignored if either -fproxy or -flisten is specified.

Default is to not start up as an HTTP server.

-scriptextensions <ext1[;ext2] ... >

Identify which file extensions should be considered Lasso files. This option is used in conjunction with -httproot to tell the HTTP server which files should be processed as Lasso code. Note that multiple extensions are delimited by semicolons.

Default is to not treat any files as Lasso code.

-addapp <path>

This option specifies a path to a LassoApp that is to be installed when lassoserver starts up. This allows you to include LassoApps that are outside the LassoApp directory in your instance home directory. This option can be specified multiple times with different paths and all specified LassoApps will be installed.

Default is to not install any additional LassoApps.

Starting lassoserver

To start lassoserver as a FastCGI server listening on port 9000:

$> lassoserver -p 9000

To start lassoserver as a FastCGI server listening on a socket at “$LASSO9_HOME/lasso.sock”:

$> lassoserver -flisten lasso.sock

To start lassoserver as a FastCGI proxy server listening on a socket at “/tmp/lasso.sock”:

$> lassoserver -fproxy //tmp/lasso.sock

To start lassoserver as an HTTP server that processes “*.lasso” and “*.inc” files as Lasso code:

$> lassoserver -httproot /path/to/webroot -scriptextensions "lasso;inc"

lassoim(d)

The lassoim(d) executable is installed at /usr/sbin/lassoimd on Linux operating systems, at /usr/local/lasso/lassoim on OS X, and at C:\Program Files\LassoSoft\Lasso Instance Manager\home\LassoExecutables\lassoim on Windows. This program creates the FastCGI server that runs Lasso’s Instance Manager web application. It also makes sure that all enabled instances are running.

To manually start lassoim(d), just call it from the command line. (It ignores any arguments passed to it.)

$> lassoim

When running this executable, it is important to set the LASSO9_HOME environment variable to a path of a directory containing all the built-in Lasso libraries. By default, this should be /var/lasso/home on OS X and Linux operating systems.

lasso9

The lasso9 executable is installed at /usr/bin/lasso9 on Linux operating systems, at /usr/local/lasso/lasso9 on OS X, and at C:\Program Files\LassoSoft\Lasso Instance Manager\home\LassoExecutables\lasso9 on Windows. This program can execute Lasso code from a file, piped from STDIN, passed in as a string, or inside an interactive interpreter. This executable doesn’t load and start up everything that lassoserver does. See the section Loading Libraries in Shell Scripts for what isn’t loaded and how to load the extra components if you need them.

To execute a file of Lasso code, pass the path to the file as the argument to lasso9. For example:

$> lasso9 /path/to/code.lasso
-s <code>

Use -s to execute the string passed to lasso9 as Lasso code:

$> lasso9 -s "lasso_version"
--

Use -- to execute Lasso code from STDIN:

$> echo 'lasso_version' | lasso9 --
-i

Use -i to execute Lasso code interactively. When you do this a new prompt will appear (>:), and what you type there will be processed as Lasso code when you hit return. You can also paste small amounts of multi-line code into the prompt; just be sure to hit return right after pasting so that the last line of code will be included. When finished, type Control-C to exit.

$> lasso9 -i
>: lasso_version
Mac OS X 9.3
>: loop(3) => { stdoutnl(loop_count) }
1
2
3

Note

Each chunk of code is processed as if it were a separate file, so local variables processed in one chunk are unavailable to future chunks. You’ll either need to copy and paste multi-line code, or use thread variables.

For more details, see the section Calling Lasso from the CLI in the Calling Lasso chapter.

lassoc

The lassoc executable is installed at /usr/bin/lassoc on Linux operating systems, at /usr/local/lasso/lassoc on OS X, and at C:\Program Files\LassoSoft\Lasso Instance Manager\home\LassoExecutables\lassoc on Windows. This program is used to compile LassoApps, Lasso libraries, and Lasso executables. See the section Compiling Lasso Code below for more information.

Special Environment Variables

There are several environment variables that have various effects on running lasso9, lassoserver, or custom Lasso executables. The following lists the variables and a description of their function:

LASSO9_HOME

This variable is set to the path of a directory containing either the instance-specific libraries and startup items, or to a path containing all of the Lasso built-in libraries. If set to an instance-specific home directory, be sure to also set the LASSO9_MASTER_HOME variable.

Default is /var/lasso/home for OS X and Linux.

LASSO9_MASTER_HOME

This variable must be set to a directory containing all the built-in Lasso libraries if the LASSO9_HOME variable is set to an instance-specific home directory.

Default is not set.

LASSO9_PRINT_FAILURES

This variable can be set to an integer that specifies how verbose a Lasso executable should be in its error reporting. Setting it to “1” outputs the most information, with larger integer values making it less verbose.

Default is not set, which is the least verbose.

LASSO9_RETAIN_COMMENTS

If this variable is set to “1”, Lasso will retain any doc comments in the code it loads, allowing you to programmatically view and process these comments.

Default is not set.

LASSO9_PRINT_LIB_LOADS

If this variable is set to “1”, Lasso will print diagnostic information to STDOUT regarding the on-demand libraries that it loads. This can be useful when debugging your own on-demand Lasso libraries.

Default is not set.

LASSOSERVER_APP_PREFIX

If this variable is set by the web server, lassoserver will assume the host is dedicated to serving a single LassoApp, and will prepend this path to all lassoApp_link paths. For details and an example, see the section Server Configuration in the LassoApps chapter.

Default is not set.

LASSOSERVER_DOCUMENT_ROOT

If this variable is set by the web server, lassoserver will use this path instead of the standard DOCUMENT_ROOT to serve files from. This can be useful when using Apache’s VirtualDocumentRoot or UserDir features. In the example below, Apache will serve any of the folder names in “/srv/lasso/sites/” as virtual hosts, and Lasso will use the value of LASSOSERVER_DOCUMENT_ROOT as each host’s document root.

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName admin.local
    VirtualDocumentRoot "/srv/lasso/sites/%1"
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteRule ^ - [E=LASSOSERVER_DOCUMENT_ROOT:/srv/lasso/sites/%{HTTP_HOST}]
</VirtualHost>

Default is not set.

LASSOSERVER_FASTCGIPORT

Set the port that the FastCGI server binds on. Same as specifying the -p option.

LASSOSERVER_USER

Specifies the OS user to run lassoserver as. Same as specifying the -user option.

LASSOSERVER_GROUP

Specifies the OS group to run lassoserver as. Same as specifying the -group option.

Lasso Shell Scripts on OS X and Linux

While most developers use Lasso to create dynamic websites, you can also write Lasso code that can be run from the command line to assist you in administrative or repetitive tasks. These files that run from the command line are often called shell scripts since you run them from your terminal’s shell.

Running Scripts

There are two ways to run a file containing Lasso code from the command line:

  • Pass the path of the file to the lasso9 executable:

    $> lasso9 /path/to/code.lasso
    
  • Make sure the file has execute permissions turned on and that it starts with the proper hashbang, then call the file directly:

    $> /path/to/code.lasso
    

This second option requires having the file’s executable permissions set. You can do this in OS X or Linux with the chmod command:

$> chmod +x /path/to/code.lasso

Calling the file directly also requires that the file contain the proper hashbang, which tells your shell which interpreter to use when executing the file. It must be the first line of the file and it starts with the pound sign and an exclamation mark followed by the path to the interpreter. For Lasso code, it should look like this:

#!/usr/bin/env lasso9

If you have a custom installation of Lasso, adjust the path to the lasso9 executable accordingly.

Reading Command-Line Arguments

When running Lasso shell scripts, Lasso provides two special thread variables for inspecting the command that was run and the arguments that were passed to it: “argc” and “argv”. The “argc” variable returns the number of arguments, including the command. The “argv” variable returns a staticarray in which the first element is the command and the remaining elements are the arguments passed to the command.

The following example outputs the values of $argc and $argv when the script is run using the lasso9 tool. The contents of the file “/path/to/code.lasso” are:

stdoutnl($argc)
stdoutnl($argv)

Here’s what happens when you run the code:

$> lasso9 /path/to/code.lasso -moose hair
3
staticarray(/path/to/code.lasso, -moose, hair)

The following example shows the values of $argc and $argv when the script is run directly. The contents of the file “/path/to/code.lasso” are:

#!/usr/bin/env lasso9
stdoutnl($argc)
stdoutnl($argv)

Here’s what happens when you run the script directly:

$> /path/to/code.lasso -moose hair
3
staticarray(/path/to/code.lasso, -moose, hair)

As you can see, calling the script with lasso9 produces the same result as calling the script directly, so you don’t ever need to worry about the first element in $argv being “lasso9”.

Using these two thread variables, you can create scripts whose behavior changes when different arguments are passed to them. In fact, the lasso9 executable itself is a Lasso shell script (source), written in Lasso and compiled into a binary.

Loading Libraries in Shell Scripts

Lasso shell scripts are not run in the lassoserver context. This means that various libraries and tools that lassoserver loads are not loaded or available by default when your script runs. Although all the core libraries are available, the LCAPI modules, LJAPI modules, logging system, email queue, security registry, web request and response environment, LassoApps, and files in “LassoStartup” are not loaded. This is actually beneficial since your script would otherwise take as long as lassoserver to start up before getting to running your code. If you find you need something that isn’t loaded, you can load it yourself. The sections below will show you how.

Load All Database and LCAPI Modules

If you want to have access to all database connectors and to all the LCAPI modules such as the ImageMagick methods or the os_process type, you can load them all with the database_initialize method:

#!/usr/bin/env lasso9
database_initialize

Load Specific LCAPI Modules

If you want, you can just load individual LCAPI modules. The following example loads just the MySQL database connector:

#!/usr/bin/env lasso9
// If LASSO9_MASTER_HOME is specified, find module there
// Otherwise, find it in the LASSO9_HOME path
lcapi_loadModule((sys_masterHomePath || sys_homePath) + '/LassoModules/MySQLConnector.' + sys_dll_ext)

Set Up the LJAPI Environment

To create the JVM and set up the LJAPI environment, you must first load the LJAPI9 LCAPI module and then call the ljapi_initialize method:

#!/usr/bin/env lasso9
match(lasso_version(-lassoplatform)) => {
   case('Linux')
      lcapi_loadModule((sys_masterHomePath || sys_homePath) + '/LassoModules/LJAPI9.so')
   case('Mac OS X')
      lcapi_loadModule((sys_masterHomePath || sys_homePath) + '/LassoModules/LJAPI9.dylib')
   // Fail if unknown OS
   case
      fail('Unknown platform')
   }
ljapi_initialize

Load a LassoApp

LassoApps have the ability to run or load code when they are initialized. Often this code adds methods, types, or traits that you may want available in your Lasso shell scripts. The code below contains three examples of loading up LassoApps: one for compiled LassoApps, one for zipped LassoApps, and one for a LassoApp directory.

#!/usr/bin/env lasso9
// Load a compiled LassoApp from LASSO9_MASTER_HOME if specified
// Otherwise, load it from LASSO9_HOME
lassoapp_installer->install(
   lassoapp_compiledsrc_appsource(
      (sys_masterHomePath || sys_homePath) +
      '/LassoApps/example.lassoapp'
   )
)

// Load a zipped LassoApp from LASSO9_HOME
lassoapp_installer->install(
   lassoapp_zipsrc_appsource(sys_appsPath + 'example.zip')
)

// Load a LassoApp from the specified directory
lassoapp_installer->install(
   lassoapp_dirsrc_appsource('//path/to/example/')
)

Include Another File with Lasso Code

If you would like to run Lasso code in another file from your script, you can include that file using the sourcefile type. The following example will have “/path/to/code.lasso” running the code from “/path/to/doc.lasso”:

// Contents of /path/to/code.lasso
local(doc) = sourcefile(file('//path/to/doc.lasso'))
stdoutnl("Calling " + #doc->filename + "...")
#doc->invoke
stdoutnl("This is heavy.")
// Contents of /path/to/doc.lasso
stdoutnl("Great Scott!")

Here’s what happens when you run “/path/to/code.lasso”:

$> lasso9 /path/to/code.lasso
Calling //path/to/doc.lasso...
Great Scott!
This is heavy.

Include Another File Relative to the Script

Sometimes it’s helpful to have the script you are running able to include a file that is relative to the script. If you pass a relative path to the file type, it will expect the file you are trying to reference to be included relative from your shell’s current working directory. To get around this, you must have the current script figure out the absolute path to its parent directory so you can append the relative path. The following code does just that:

#!/usr/bin/env lasso9
// Contents of /path/to/project/sub1/code.lasso

// This should let us run this file anywhere and still properly import relative files
local(path_here) = currentCapture->callsite_file->stripLastComponent
not #path_here->beginsWith('/') ?
   #path_here = io_file_getcwd + '/' + #path_here
not #path_here->endsWith('/') ?
   #path_here->append('/')
local(f) = file(#path_here + '../sub2/code.lasso')

stdoutnl("Loading ../sub2/code.lasso")
sourcefile(#f)->invoke
stdoutnl("Done.")
// Contents of /path/to/project/sub2/code.lasso
stdoutnl("I am a relative include.")

Here’s what happens when you run “/path/to/project/sub1/code.lasso”:

$> /path/to/project/sub1/code.lasso
Loading ../sub2/code.lasso
I am a relative include.
Done

Change the Working Directory

Occasionally you may find it helpful to change the directory context your script is running in. You can use the dir->setcwd method to do so:

#!/usr/bin/env lasso9
// Contents of /path/to/code.lasso

stdoutnl("We are here: " + io_file_getcwd)
dir('/etc/')->setcwd
stdoutnl("Now we are here: " + io_file_getcwd)

Here’s what happens when you run this file:

$> cd /path/to/
$> lasso9 ./code.lasso
We are here: /path/to
Now we are here: /etc

Read and Set Environment Variables

Lasso can read and set shell environment variables using sys_getEnv and sys_setEnv respectively. The following example adds a directory to the “PATH” environment variable for the script:

#!/usr/bin/env lasso9
// Contents of /path/to/code.lasso

// Ignore the return value of sys_setEnv
local(_) = sys_setEnv(`PATH`, `/var/lasso/home/bin:` + sys_getEnv(`PATH`))
stdoutnl(sys_getEnv(`PATH`))

Here’s what happens when you run this script:

$> /path/to/code.lasso
/var/lasso/home/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin

Compiling Lasso Code

All Lasso code is compiled before it is executed. Whether the code is a Lasso page being served by Lasso Server or a script being run by the lasso9 command-line tool, behind the scenes Lasso compiles the code and then executes the compiled code. (Lasso does cache the compiled code for re-use, but that is beyond the scope of this section.)

There are certain cases where it is advantageous to compile the Lasso code ahead of time. The Lasso platform comes with the lassoc command-line tool which aids in compiling LassoApps, Lasso libraries, and Lasso executables. Compilation can result in faster startup times, lower memory usage, and obfuscation of the source code.

Libraries help keep memory usage down because only objects that are actually used are loaded. They also improve startup time. Lasso can start up by only loading the very basic built-in functions and objects and then let the rest of the system load in over time.

A special type of library called a bitcode file can also be produced, which has a “.bc” file extension. Bitcode is an LLVM-specific format that Lasso knows how to load. Bitcode files can be shared across platforms on the same processor. For example, the same bitcode file could be used on OS X x86 and CentOS x86. Bitcode files don’t load as fast, have about 80% larger file size and consume more memory than library files compiled into a shared library, but they don’t require GCC and are cross-platform.

Prerequisites

The following must be installed to compile Lasso code:

  • Lasso Server installed on a supported OS
  • Your operating systems’s developer command-line tools. (Consult the documentation for your OS on how to install a compiler, linker, etc.)
  • For OS X, you will also need the 10.5 SDK libraries in order to create binaries that are compatible with all supported versions of OS X. See this link for unsupported help with installing older SDKs.

The examples below are shown running from a command-line prompt. For Windows, make sure you are running these commands from the Visual Studio command prompt.

Compiling Executables

You can compile shell scripts into executable files. This decreases the overhead of running the script through the lasso9 tool, and allows you to distribute your own command-line tools without distributing the source code. The examples below take a shell script named “myscript.lasso” and compile it into the executable “myscript”.

OS X

$> lassoc -O -app -n -obj -o myscript.a.o myscript.lasso
$> gcc -o myscript myscript.a.o -isysroot /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.5.sdk \
-Wl,-syslibroot,/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.5.sdk -mmacosx-version-min=10.5 \
-macosx_version_min=10.5 -F/Library/Frameworks -framework Lasso9

Linux

$> lassoc -O -app -n -obj -o myscript.a.o myscript.lasso
$> gcc -o myscript myscript.a.o -llasso9_runtime

Windows

$> lassoc -O -app -n -obj -o myscript.obj myscript.lasso
$> link myscript.obj \
> /LIBPATH:"C:\Program Files\LassoSoft\Lasso Instance Manager\home\LassoExecutables" \
> lasso9_runtime.lib -defaultlib:libcmt

Compiling Libraries

You can create your own library of methods and types and then compile it into one library file for distribution. Libraries compiled this way go into the “LassoLibraries” directory of an instance’s LASSO9_HOME or LASSO9_MASTER_HOME directory. The advantages of doing this instead of placing the source code in the “LassoStartup” directory are that Lasso starts faster and consumes less memory. This is because Lasso only loads the methods and types in libraries when they are first used instead of at startup. This makes starting an instance of Lasso Server faster as the code will be loaded when first needed, and it helps keep memory down as only those methods and types that are actually used by the instance get loaded.

The examples below take a file named “mylibs.inc” and compile it into a dynamically loaded Lasso library.

OS X

$> lassoc -O -dll -n -obj -o mylibs.d.o mylibs.inc
$> gcc -dynamiclib -o mylibs.dylib mylibs.d.o -isysroot /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.5.sdk \
-Wl,-syslibroot,/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.5.sdk -mmacosx-version-min=10.5 \
-macosx_version_min=10.5 -F/Library/Frameworks -framework Lasso9

Linux

$> lassoc -O -dll -n -obj -o mylibs.d.o mylibs.inc
$> gcc -shared -o mylibs.so mylibs.d.o -llasso9_runtime

Windows

$> lassoc -O -dll -n -obj -o mylibs.obj mylibs.inc
$> link /DLL mylibs.obj /OUT:mylibs.dll \
/LIBPATH:"C:\Program Files\LassoSoft\Lasso Instance Manager\home\LassoExecutables" \
lasso9_runtime.lib -defaultlib:libcmt

Compiling LassoApps

LassoApps allow you to create an easily deployable and distributable web application. They are installed into the “LassoApps” directory of an instance’s LASSO9_HOME or LASSO9_MASTER_HOME directory. (See the LassoApps chapter for more information.) Compiling them allows Lasso to start up faster and allows for distributing closed-sourced solutions.

The examples below take a folder named “myapp” and compile it into a LassoApp named “myapp.lassoapp”.

OS X

$> lassoc -O -dll -n -obj -lassoapp -o myapp.ap.o myapp/
$> gcc -dynamiclib -o myapp.lassoapp myapp.ap.o -isysroot /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.5.sdk \
-Wl,-syslibroot,/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.5.sdk -mmacosx-version-min=10.5 \
-macosx_version_min=10.5 -F/Library/Frameworks -framework Lasso9

Linux

$> lassoc -O -dll -n -obj -lassoapp -o myapp.ap.o myapp/
$> gcc -shared -o myapp.lassoapp myapp.ap.o -llasso9_runtime

Windows

$> lassoc -O -dll -n -obj -lassoapp -o myapp.lassoapp.obj myapp
$> link /DLL myapp.lassoapp.obj /OUT:myapp.lassoapp \
/LIBPATH:"C:\Program Files\LassoSoft\Lasso Instance Manager\home\LassoExecutables" \
lasso9_runtime.lib -defaultlib:libcmt

Using Build Utilities

Instead of manually executing those commands each time you want to compile your code, it is recommended you use a build utility like make for OS X and Linux or nmake for Windows. Both of these utilities are very powerful and you should explore their documentation. The Lasso source tree has an example of both a make file and an nmake file which you can download and modify to fit your solutions.